So I was a little excited last night with Google+ going live to the public and overlooked improvements 92 t0 99 as published on the Official Google Blog. I don’t want to simply repeat what has been announced but will give you a condensed summary of what’s been released so you know what is happening:
92. Hangouts on your phone –
Some of you may have already come across the Apple equivalent called FaceTime; I am not stating that Google have taken the same idea but it’s a very similar concept to say the least. Anyone with a front facing camera on an Android 2.3+ device will now be able to join an active hangout from their stream and begin talking face to face instantly from their phone. This has been a very successful app for Apple and could be just as revolutionary for Google+, perhaps to the extent of exposing criminals…?
93. Hangouts on air –
This new addition to hangouts will allow you to broadcast and record your session to a much larger audience than the regular nine. I actually tried to find this feature in order to get a picture for the post but it seems that they have limited who can broadcast at this stage. Anyone can currently spectate a broadcast though, so some of you may be interest to know that will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas will be broadcasting on September 21st (aka tomorrow).
94 to 97. Hangouts with extras –
I have to admit these are the more exciting updates to Google+ Hangouts in my opinion:
Screensharing is the first of the extras, allowing users to share anything from photos to documents live on their screen; it’s true that Google already has Picasa and Google Docs but having the ability to do it all live makes everything quick and efficient. I’ll personally be using it to show my clients around their Google AdWords campaigns rather than have to send them report after report while I imagine others will be helping friends out with technical problems all from their own screen.
Sketchpad it a more cutesy feature where Google+ users can draw and doodle on a white pad while talking to each other. Pictionary anyone?
Google Docs was originally not the most stream-less of Google’s products but introducing it to Google+ Hangouts is a fantastic move, especially for businesses and students. Being able to talk to a group of colleagues face to face while discussing documents on screen is going to save a lot of time with regards to unnecessary business meetings.
Named Hangouts is simply for when you want to create a public hangout based on a topic or subject of your choice. Not happy about the latest football results for your team? Get chatting with other fans…
98. Hangouts APIs –
A general API feature was released to Google+ not long ago but now it has come to hangouts also. For more information check out the official blog here.
99. Search in Google+ –
10 days ago I was contacted by an app developer called Andrew Shen who brought to my attention a search engine he had created for Google+. Unfortunately for Andrew, Google (unsurprisingly as they are a search engine after all) have created their own version which now allows users to search both posts and profiles for interests of their own choice. Simply enter a search term of your choice, hit enter and then you will have the choice to filter relevant results by People, Google+ Posts or Sparks.
And we all know that improvement number 100 was a public release of the social network itself. Let me know if you guys have used any of the above updates at all, I’d love to hear some feedback.